Sunset Clause Halts NAFTA Meeting

May 31st saw the Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau offer to go to Washington for a renegotiation talk on the North American Free Trade Agreement. However, Vice President Mike Pence called him saying a meeting with President Trump would have one precondition. Trudeau first had to agree to put a five-year sunset clause in the deal.

Due to the unacceptable precondition, the Canadian prime minister refused the invite to meet with President Trump. He gave his response during his outline of Canada’s response to the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports imposed by the U.S.

Later that evening, Trump gave a responsive statement released by the White House. He mentioned the messaged conveyed to Canada’s Prime Minister and stated that the nation would agree to a fair deal or nothing at all.

Trump Was Agreeable to NAFTA Meeting Before, Now He’s Demanding a Precondition of a Sunset Clause?

Last Friday, Trudeau called Trump to suggest they meet up since he felt they were close to an agreement. Trudeau said it only required a final moment to cement the deal.

Before Pence called him, Trudeau reported that Trump seemed agreeable to the meeting.

However, the prime minister declared he wouldn’t agree to a sunset clause since businesses need certainty before making long-term investments. The inclusion of a sunset clause every five years would create uncertainty for many.

Trudeau highlighted that no Canadian prime minister would ever sign a NAFTA deal including a five-year sunset clause. So naturally, no meeting occurred between the two North American Leaders.

Pence spoke of preliminary issues the Trump administration needed clarity on before any meetings in person at the White House occurred. This includes the sunset clause according to a White House official, speaking anonymously to share internal discussions.

Earlier, Trudeau denounced Trump’s decision to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports. Canada has since announced their plan to create tariffs on $12.8 billion worth of products from the U.S. from steel, to yogurt, to toilet paper.

Trudeau shares his regret in the action he made but says it is necessary for the good of Canada. Trudeau says he believes some point, the United State’s common sense will soon prevail. However, Trudeau did not see any sign of that in the latest action of the U.S. administration.